I shall never continue this by the way. Also the Allegiances I have already posted so I hope you guys actually read my stuff. This fan-fic is almost a year old and I doubt I’ll continue it. I hope you enjoy reading what I decided to make, the prologue and the first two chapters. Also I am mainly posting this because I think my google account is being deleted, and I want to be able to restore this sometime.
Thick branches of pine and baobab trees shadowed the ground, only a few specks of light could reach through the dense canopy to touch the foliage beneath. Even then the light could not touch the delicate bracken below the leaves, so it seemed the forest was nothing but shadows.
A black furred tom, with deep purple eyes, padded along a path through the wood, his paws swift as he leaped over bracken and brush, heading toward a place where three rivers crossed, rushing violently through the forest of pines. He jumped over to the other side of the river when he reached a space where the water was thin and shallow, to be greeted by two other cats, one of a dark gray pelt, the other a lean silver tabby. The purple eyed tom nodded to the other cats, then with them made his way over mounds of stone, his paws sore as the trees seemed to disappear, and bones were aching as he saw the faint outline of a mountain, then a large lake in the distance. He turned to the gray furred cat beside him, eyes shining with the light of the rising moon.
“Cold season is coming, yet the clouds have not grayed the skies.” The gray pelted cat returned his gaze, with burning white eyes, the stars shining on her fur.
“I understand that the cold seasons are coming, but at least red cough has not struck us yet.” She looked to the oncoming lake, “The half-sky is rising, we must hurry to rest before the brightest star shines.”
The silver tabby was glaring at the night sky, “The Ones that Seek have not granted us fortune, as two of the council have the throat of red, and they have not yet chosen their heirs.” He closed his fiery orange eyes, and the black tom sensed a undying sadness that rested at the tabby’s very core.
“It is not the duty of the Ones that Seek to make our destiny their own. It was the cold, not the spirits, that gave your leaders the breath of blood. I hope they give you a answer soon, or it may be that you cats will not live.” The black tom then turned to the lake, wondering what the spirits would say to him. He hoped that there was nothing all that important to say, other than that of good at least, such as a new stock of medicinal herbs, or perhaps a prey-filled area that would prevent his Clan from the coming starvation. His thoughts then went to the lake, reflecting the half-starry sky, and the world of the spirits. He wondered how he was able to visit them, while here on the ground, perhaps he was dead every half-sky, or perhaps his spirit left until the first light of dawn. When and how could he ever be there, while here amongst his fellow spirit dwellers?
The grey cat beside the tom nudged him with her muzzle, her raspy breath sounding in his ear. “Look, Shimmershade, if you can see!” The tom then looked ahead, and saw a large oak tree about a whisker length away from his muzzle, he then purred, thinking that even the blind old cat that was his companion was more aware of her surroundings than he!
“Of course,” he meowed, feeling hot under his fur. We are going to Lake Shadows, not our camps! The others might know this path better than I, but I am not born to this place, only brought here by the Ones that Seek. He trotted around the oak, then wondered how it had made its way to grow in the stone. He collected himself, remembering that he almost ran into the tree without knowing it while thinking like this, he thought that he was almost too tired to travel any more, so it could be that he wasn’t thinking straight either. We are almost to Lake Shadows, when we are, we can rest. He looked before him, concentrating on traveling, ignoring the amused looks from his companions, though couldn’t withhold a mrrow of glee himself, enjoying the company of his fellow Clan cats.
As the three cats drew close to the water, they crouched low to it, lapped a few drops, then stepped into it. Quickly pulling themselves out onto cold stone, they huddled together beneath the shelter of a large stone, and soon the quiet lulled Shimmershade to sleep.
He woke to warmth, starlight shining gently on his pelt, as slowly he opened his eyes to a long stretch of grass dotted by trees. He stood, blinking in the sudden light, noticing a mottled cat with bright green eyes approaching. He did not recognize her, for he was new to the Clans, but knew that something was to be said here. The cat neared, Shimmershade searching her green gaze, finding both approval and thrill in the twitch of her tail and flick of her ears.
The cat nodded to Shimmershade, her fur and eyes bright with starlight. “Shimmershade,” she meowed, “It is a honor to finally meet you.” Shimmershade himself was confused by this, but didn’t argue. He found delight swelling in his chest to find that the Fate Seekers welcomed him to the Clans.
Shimmershade looked to the mottled cat, digging his claws into the ground. It felt real to him, looked real to him, but wasn’t. This was the place of spirits, and he was mortal at the moment, though a particular thought came back to him: how was he even here?
“Shimmershade,” meowed the cat, “Ghost wishes to see you.”
“Ghost?” Asked Shimmershade, pulled, once again, from his thoughts. There are many ghosts here, but which one is she talking about?
“Yes,” the cat replied, stars swirling about her, tail twitching in excitement. “Here, I’ll show you to him, follow me.” She swiftly turned, paws skimming dirt, then racing along the grass in graceful leaps, heading for a forest of pines.
Shimmershade had no time to protest this sudden retreat, so followed the cat, trying to imitate the same movements she had. He found this to be easier than he had thought it would be, perhaps his spirit was more graceful than his body was, lighter to, for he found he could jump higher as well. He was faster, catching up to the mottled cat in large bounds, paws brushing lightly against grass.
The mottled cat turned to him, “I’d thought you’d be slower!” Purring she ran even faster, Shimmershade keeping pace, “My name is Mottlewhisker, and I was once a warrior of GhostClan.” She abruptly turned again, catching Shimmershade unprepared, so he slipped, falling onto soft ground. He lay on his side, unhurt, perhaps this was the result of being a spirit.
Mottlewhisker looked down on Shimmershade, eyes wide. “Are you okay?” She asked, flicking her paws free of dirt.
Shimmershade slowly got to his paws, cautious of any injuries but aware there were none. “I think so, but we’d better walk for now.”
Mottlewhisker nodded, “I know where Ghost is, not far.” She looked to the beginning of the pine forest, looking black in the distance and dark green as they neared. “He should be in his den, enjoying fresh-kill. If not, he’s getting it.”
Shimmershade nodded, not speaking until they entered the wood, seeing the entrance to Ghost’s den. Then Shimmershade heard a demanding meow, “Who is it, that disturbs me so?” Shimmershade heard the scuffling of claws to moss, fur on end, forcing it to lie flat once a large, deep gray cat, appeared at the entrance to the den. “Oh. It’s only you Shimmershade, sorry. Is it half-sky already? I’d think you would be later.” The meow was suddenly gentle. “As you might already know, I am Ghost, and this is Mottlewhisker.” Ghost looked to Mottlewhisker, his eyes dark for half a moment. “I wanted to speak with you.”
“Yes, Mottlewhisker told me.” Shimmershade was interested in this strange cat, who seemed to have more to him than what appeared to Shimmershade at the moment.
Mottlewhisker looked on, her eyes more serious than they had been when Shimmershade first entered the world of spirits.
“Come with me,” Ghost meowed, his silver eyes shining in the light. He led Shimmershade through the pine trees, leaving Mottlewhisker next to the entrance of Ghost’s den. Shimmershade turned his attention to Ghost, whose silver-gray pelt glistened in the light. Shimmershade followed the old cat to a hollow made up of pines, the wood making sure no one else heard what they had to say.
Ghost looked directly at Shimmershade, his eyes intent on something that Shimmershade couldn’t see. “There is a prophecy, told to me of a Ancient Cat, older than the oldest tree, older than the very stars and the sky. They told me, many seasons ago, when I lived in the state of breath, ‘When spirit reflects at water’s edge, death will greet sky at a place of long forgotten secrets.’” The grey cat seemed to fade from view and was replaced by the shadows of oak trees, with a lake lapping gently nearby. Shimmershade walked, the lush grass beneath his paws shadowed by the night sky. The lake reflected the dark-sky, and as Shimmershade approached the lake, he noticed a cat beside it. The cat had pure, shiny black fur with star-sky blue eyes as he saw through the lake the image it reflected. Then, as he tried to make out more details of the cat, the sky turned red with the light of dawn, and the lake turned red with blood.
Chapter 1: Prophecy
Redleaf padded through the forest, his apprentice, Ebonypaw, beside him. He listened for the quiet rustling of a leaf, or the chirping of a robin or blackbird. He felt his way through the leaves of gold and red, which the trees had dropped, to see if there was any prey beneath them. His whiskers twitched as he scented a shrew, oblivious of its hunters.
He turned to his apprentice, “Stay here.” He mewed, his fur bristling in excitement. This was his first hunt with Ebonypaw, who had just become an apprentice at no-sky, and he wanted to see her skills. Ravenpaw was nearby, hunting with Whiteear, and Redleaf resented the competitive hope that his apprentice would have a better catch than her brother and his mentor. He had just showed Ebonypaw the hunter’s crouch, a reliable hunting move that was essential to catching prey unawares, and he hoped that Ebonypaw was a quick learner.
“What can you scent?” Redleaf questioned his apprentice, who was already tasting the air.
Ebonypaw nodded toward the clump of leaves. “There is a shrew there, but if you want larger prey, there is a couple of rabbits there,” she looked in the other direction, “Though it will be harder to catch.”
Redleaf was surprised at the way Ebonypaw had quickly scented her choices of prey, even he, at first, hadn’t caught on to the rabbits, though farther from the shrew, were still an easy catch.
He wanted to see her skills with smaller, less clumsy prey, so he looked to the shrew. “I want to see that one on the fresh kill pile.”
Ebonypaw nodded, her tail fluffed up to look twice its size, her shiny black fur and sky-blue eyes lighting up in the shadows. She made out a perfect hunter’s crouch, her black fur invisible in the darkness that the forest cast. She leaped, her aim inaccurate, claws skimming the leaves that her prey hid among, allowing the shrew to escape. Redleaf stared in disbelief, his neck fur bristling, wondering how a warrior could make such a uncoordinated move. Then he remembered that Ebonypaw was not a warrior yet, only a newly made apprentice, barely out of the nursery. Redleaf forced his fur to lie flat again, then moved to help Ebonypaw up.
“That wasn’t bad, really.” He mewed, trying to comfort her, even though she was covered in leaves that had fallen last cold-season, and coated in scratches. “Few ever get it on their first try. Why don’t we go back to camp, then I’ll show you a better place to hunt, where the prey acts as if it doesn’t know what cats even are.”
“Darkeye will be likely to keep me in the apprentices’ den for the rest of the day,” Ebonypaw hissed, her gaze traveling to a large cut across her leg. Redleaf sighed.
“Darkeye knows you are a apprentice now. She won’t keep you restless in a den.” He nodded to Ebonypaw’s wound, “She’ll just put either a poultice or a clump of cobwebs on that. Trust me, that isn’t bad at all.”
“Let’s go then,” Ebonypaw agreed, flicking her long black tail and following Redleaf through the oak trees. He guessed that she was enjoying seeing more of her territory, though Redleaf was fretful at the moment. He wondered why she seemed so upset, as if she had her warrior assessment and didn’t pass. All you did was fail to catch a shrew. The shrew he had showed her how to catch.
“Hey Ebonypaw,” Redleaf yowled, his orange fur on end. “Now tell me what you can scent.”
“Why?” Ebonypaw asked, her eyes calm and tail flicking anxiously. “We didn’t travel that far.” Redleaf was suddenly nervous, he didn’t have much of a good reason, so he came up with one.
“Because, I want to see what you know about borders.” He looked at a thick river, marking the line between the oak forest, and a pine forest.
“Well, what I can scent is a musky odor from the other side of the river, some marigold, that must be Darkeye, and…” her eyes were wide. “There is another scent. Musky, like the pines, but smelling like us too.” Her blue eyes flickered for a moment, and Redleaf saw the black pelt reflected in them, he slammed a paw down on the apprentice’s shoulder.
“Get down!” He screeched urgently. He thought Ebonypaw would give him another ‘why’, but she stayed quiet, her fur fluffed out and ears flicking this way and that. Then Redleaf heard the loud screeching of cats.
“Get off our land, you mange-pelt!” Redleaf recognized the yowl of Whiteear. Surely she can’t fight a rogue alone?
He was reassured by the furious yowl of Ravenpaw, “Begone fox-hearted prey stealer!” Redleaf heard the slashes of claws and a hiss, and Redleaf realized that this was no rogue, but the Spirit Dweller of GhostClan.
Redleaf charged into the clearing, his neck fur bristling, his apprentice beside him. “Stop!” He yowled, and Ravenpaw hesitated, while Whiteear glared at the black tom, who returned her stare with surprise glittering in his eyes.
“Do you mouse-brains even know who you were attacking?” Redleaf hissed to his Clanmates.
“A cat with bees in his brain.” Meowed Ravenpaw, who unsheathed his claws while his deep gaze lay intently on the black tom.
“That’s Shimmershade!” He yowled to the stubborn apprentice. He turned to the intruder. “Why are you here?” He questioned the cat, knowing that either Shimmershade had no sense of smell or that he had a reason to cross borders.
“I have good reason,” the black tom meowed, fixing his gaze on Ebonypaw. Redleaf saw this movement. Don’t you dare try to bring my apprentice into this!
“That’s for Twilightstar to decide,” Whiteear mewed, still glaring at the tom.
“Come with us,” Ravenpaw ordered, as if it was he who was now leading the patrol. Shimmershade followed, even under an apprentice’s commands, he must know the Spirit’s code, that one cat has no power on another’s territory, no matter what rank the owner is.
Redleaf walked ahead of Whiteear and Ravenpaw, Ebonypaw beside him while the others suspiciously flanked Shimmershade. The traveled through damp leaves and brush, greeted by another patrol, consisting of Spottedtail, Leopardheart, Foxfur, Rabbitfoot, and Greypaw. The cats’ eyes were blazing, “A intruder?” Leopardheart wondered.
“No, Shimmershade,” the black tom introduced himself to the patrol.
“The GhostClan cat?” Spottedtail questioned her sister, Whiteear.
Whiteear nodded.“I suppose, though then again I would think different, since GhostClan isn’t much of a Clan any more.”
Spottedtail blinked sadly. “Not much when Mistwhisper became leader. I wonder how he even got his nine lives? He’s never received his ‘star’ blessing.”
“Maybe he hasn’t, but then again you’ll never know.” The two cats turned to Shimmershade, eyes wide.
“Because he didn’t have a Spirit Dweller to guide him!” Ravenpaw spat, glaring at Shimmershade wearily.
“I’m sure the Spirits guided his paws, Ravenpaw.” Redleaf mewed, tail flicking. “We need to get Shimmershade back to camp to make sure he can bring whatever news he has to Twilightstar.”
“I was thinking more on the paws of Darkeye,” Shimmershade paused, casting a quick glance at Ebonypaw, “and Ebonypaw.”
Redleaf stared, “Why?”
“Yes, why?” Ebonypaw looked nervous, her ears lay back and her claws were unsheathed.
“That is for Darkeye to hear, not you.” Meowed Shimmershade to Redleaf. “And for Ebonypaw to hear.”
“Well, I am here. Tell me.” Ebonypaw glanced at her mentor, but Redleaf couldn’t find any words to say.
“Alone.” Hissed Shimmershade, lashing his tail.
“We’d better get moving, before dark-sky comes.” Redleaf was eager to change the subject, though he saw that Ebonypaw was reluctant.
“That cat can’t be trusted,” Leopardheart whispered to Redleaf, “He’s nothing but a spoiled kittypet.”
Redleaf stared at her, Shimmershade had lost his mother and father who abandoned him to hunt in the forest, and his brother who had abandoned him to live with twolegs. How could Leopardheart say that Shimmershade was spoiled? Though he didn’t argue with Shimmershade being a kittypet, he still reeked of kittypet slop, and kill that looked like rabbit pellets.
“If the Spirits accepted him, maybe we should.” Redleaf meowed gently.
“If the Spirits offer him a place in the Clans, they must have bees in their brains.” Leopardheart slowed to talk with her Clanmates, who still looked eager to guard the Spirit Dweller.
Ebonypaw looked carefully at Redleaf, “Why do you think that Shimmershade wants to talk with me?” She glanced back at the black tom.
“I don’t know, but I have a feeling that I will find out soon enough.” Redleaf tried to sense Shimmershade’s feelings. The Spirits told him something, he thought, it is just after half-sky. Perhaps it is a sign, but what has it got to do with Ebonypaw? They reached the entrance, and Twilightstar greeted them, looking surprised when Shimmershade appeared.
“Shimmershade! What are you doing here?” She studied Shimmershade along with Whiteear and her apprentice. “Why are the three of you covered in claw marks?” Twilightstar demanded.
“This bird-brain here decided he was going to attack this cat for no reason but that he couldn’t identify who it was, and when we caught on to the GhostClan scent we both attacked him.” As Whiteear continued her report Redleaf noticed that Shimmershade was uneasily looking to the caves that led to the pine tree medicine den. Twilightstar nodded to Whiteear when she finished her report and turned to Shimmershade.
“Now, what are you doing here?” Twilightstar questioned the black tom.
“To consult with Darkeye and Ebonypaw.” Shimmershade mewed calmly.
“Why Ebonypaw?” Twilightstar stared at the apprentice.
“That is for the Spirits to give the answers. I have spoken with them before.”
Chapter 2: Spirit Reflecting at Lake Shadows
The Spirits? Ebonypaw stared in wonder at the black tom who called himself Shimmershade. What do the Spirits have got to do with me? Her mentor, Redleaf, glanced at Twilightstar, perhaps he was trying to figure out what she would say. Shimmershade was new to the Clans, so Ebonypaw and her Clanmates had perfect reason not to trust the intruder, though he wasn’t much of a intruder since he was a Spirit Dweller.
“The Spirits? What have they to do with Ebonypaw?” Redleaf mewed, reflecting Ebonypaw’s thoughts.
“As I have told you before, that is for Darkeye and Ebonypaw to hear alone, and none of your opinions matter at the moment. A time of change is coming, and if you refuse me, the Spirits will have to tell them, though I fear they won’t be able to in time.” Shimmershade closed his eyes, claws scraping the ground.
“Very well,” Twilightstar meowed, flicking her ears in irritation. She was likely to be angry to let a cat from another Clan into the camp.
Shimmershade nodded to Ebonypaw, and as she began to follow him, she felt a tail lay gently on her shoulder. She looked up to see the orange tabby pelt and kind green eyes lay on her. “Whatever happens,” he mewed, “come and tell me.”
Ebonypaw nodded, her heart racing as she headed through the caves of the warrior nests, past the elders’ nests and into a lower, mossier cave that was the medicine den. The scent of herbs and milk reminded her of the nursery, which was right next to the den. Ebonypaw could hear the excited rustling of the kits in the nursery, perhaps they were playing some games with the queens, as there were a fourth as many kits as there was warriors. The Clan will be stronger next season. Ebonypaw thought, as she entered the medicine den.
Darkeye was there, sorting through herbs, her paws sticky with the juices. She looked up when Shimmershade came in, to be followed by Ebonypaw.
“Shimmershade, is something wrong?” Darkeye asked, her grey fur on end and her white eyes staring intently at the tom.
“I’m not sure.” Shimmershade replied with a tiny nod to Ebonypaw, who stepped forward.
“Ebonypaw? Are you okay?” Darkeye rushed forward, her paws graceful as she swiftly made her way through the moss.
“I’m fine,” Ebonypaw nodded to Shimmershade, “Though I’m not sure he is.” She whispered.
“Shimmershade, has something happened?” Darkeye queried, her ears lay back.
“A prophecy, and I’m sure it includes her. I’ve pieced it together, I think the time of the Clans are coming to an end.”
“What does it say?” Darkeye stared through wise, blind eyes.
“When spirit reflects at water’s edge, death will greet sky in a place of long forgotten secrets,” Shimmershade nodded toward Ebonypaw, “I had a vision. I was walking toward Lake Shadows, and I saw this cat. Pure, shiny black fur with sky-blue eyes that reflect the pattern of the stars in the sky. It was staring into the lake, its reflection clear as the night skies darkness. Then, as I approached closer to the cat, the light of dawn lit the sky the color of crimson, and the lake turned to blood.”
Ebonypaw watched as Shimmershade shook his head, as if trying to clear the vision from it. She shivered, wondering why Shimmershade would dream her in such a vivid vision, she was only an apprentice, and a new one at that. She wasn’t that important, she didn’t even know how to hunt yet.
Would she be the end of the Clans, or would she be their savior? She rather be the latter than the former. Though, why would the Spirits choose her?
“Ebonypaw,” Darkeye meowed, blind eyes intent on her. “I think it’s right you chose a different path. And this time as a Spirit Dweller.”
Ebonypaw rose early from her nest that next morning, prepared for Redleaf to call her out on patrol, then she took in her surroundings as she remembered. I’m not a warrior apprentice any more.
She was downcast as she thought of the day before, as Twilightstar had dismissed Redleaf as her mentor, and made Darkeye train her. She looked around the den, Darkeye was in her nest as well, sleeping soundly. It’s like being a warrior already, though it’s more lonely. Shimmershade had returned to his own Clan, the day before when he had left Twilightstar had told him that she wouldn’t ask any more of him than to keep the prophecy a secret, so only Ebonypaw, Darkeye, Shimmershade, and Twilightstar knew that there even was a prophecy.
When Redleaf questioned her, Ebonypaw told him that there was nothing important to say, other than some news that the Spirits had given the GhostClan cat. Redleaf had eyed her suspiciously, and even now had her under his ever watchful eye. There had been some rumors around the camp that there was an omen, mostly shared by kits who had overheard part of the conversation through the moss walls separating the two dens. Other than that, all was peaceful in the camp, except for Ebonypaw. She wanted to be a warrior, to take the oath to protect and defend her Clan, even at the cost of her life, but now that seemed far out of reach. She would become a Spirit Dweller, as this seemed to be her fate from this moment forth. It’s still early days yet, I can still be a warrior, though I don’t want to disobey Twilightstar’s orders. Ebonypaw lay back in her nest, relishing the warmth that she felt as her fur brushed moss that she had been laying in a few moments ago. She was disturbed by a gentle nudging, she turned to face whatever touched her, to only find no cat there. Darkeye was still snoring like an elder, and the moss was untouched. Who’s there? The nudging came again, and Ebonypaw turned her head to see the faint outline of a blue-grey furred cat, with silver eyes and a thick furred tail.
“Who are you?” She asked the intruder, not recognizing its scent.
“Shh, or you’ll wake her,” the strange cat nodded toward Darkeye, “Come with me.”
“But it’s not star-sky yet!” Hissed Ebonypaw quietly, her neck fur bristling.
“And it won’t be for a while.” The cat looked to the exit on the other side of the nursery.
“And who are you, to walk right into camp, without any cat noticing?” Asked Ebonypaw, “And how did you enter anyway?”
“Look, before you accuse.” The blue furred cat meowed. Ebonypaw noticed that there were stars in this cat’s pelt.
“You’re One that Seeks!” She cried, the blue furred cat nodded, “And I’m dreaming!”
“At last, you understand! I would think to leave you, as I don’t come to cats who have bees in their brains!” She looked to Ebonypaw, “And I asked you to come with me, not lay here alone in your nest.”
“Of course!” Ebonypaw mewed, leaping up and following the cat to the entrance, and walking with her through the forest to a land of stone. “Why are we here?” Ebonypaw asked as they reached a lake, water reflecting the night skies.
“Wait, or you will not see.” Ebonypaw stared into the water, seeing her reflection just as Shimmershade had described it. She found the water turning lighter, from black, to purple, then to crimson, the color of blood. She dipped her paw into the water, making ripples in the surface, and when she drew it out red water stained it. She caught on to the tangy, metallic scent of blood. Soon, the sky faded to gold, but the red remained in the water, staining her fur with the scent of death. Death will greet Sky at a place of long forgotten secrets. She turned, and the Spirit that had taken her to the lake had disappeared, and a thought came to her. One whose pawsteps walk a path of steep cliffs, will greet another with a pelt of starry skies.
She opened her eyes again, this time finding herself in the medicine den with Darkeye sorting herbs. She climbed out of her nest, her paws sore as if she really had trekked all the way to the lake and through the land of stone.
Darkeye turned, her white eyes staring directly at Ebonypaw, and she shivered. It was as if Darkeye could see, even though she was blind.
“You’re awake!” Darkeye mewed, “How was your sleep?” Ebonypaw was taken by surprise, she was already used to being asked, ‘what can you scent’ or ‘can you tuck your tail in a bit more’ by the warriors. No cat had ever asked her ‘how was your sleep?’ since she came out of the nursery.
“Disturbed,” Ebonypaw answered, keeping her reply short. “I think I had a vision. The Spirits like to give me horrible insights on what’s going to happen.”
“That’s not true, Ebonypaw,” Darkeye meowed to her, “When they give you a omen, or a prophecy, they are letting us know so we can prevent it, or make it happen. Our ancestors protect their descendants in this way. The most important cat in any Clan, isn’t the warrior, the leader. The warrior may be the strength of a Clan and the leader may be the power, the kits the lifeblood and elders the wisdom. The queen is the nurturer of the Clan, and the apprentice is the young teacher, the mentor teaches the apprentice to be a teacher themselves. But these are not important compared to what we are, me any you, Ebonypaw. We are the Spirit Dwellers, the healer, the foresight. We see what no other sees, keep the Clan in its place, and use our powers to help others and walk among the dead. What did you dream?”
Ebonypaw hesitated, taking this all in. “I dreamt the same thing as Shimmershade did, except I followed a blue furred cat with silver eyes from my nest to a lake in the middle of a land of stone. I looked into the lake, saw my reflection as described by Shimmershade, and then, as the light of dawn grew lighter, the lake turned to blood. I stuck my paw in it, and when I drew it out my entire paw was the color of the water, the sky turning gold, and the water red. It came with an omen, or so I think. One whose pawsteps follow a path of steep cliffs, will greet another with a pelt of starry skies.”
“I don’t know what it means, but the omen has got something to do with two cats, but then, pelt of starry skies could mean Silverpelt, the Spirit’s land.” Darkeye shook her head, “We can think about it while you learn about herbs.”
Ebonypaw stared. “Herbs?”
“Yes, now come on over here!” Darkeye beckoned her over with her tail, and Ebonypaw noticed the pile of herbs at her new mentor’s paws. Her mentor pick up a plant with purple flowers. “This, here, is catmint. It is a common cure for the coughs, white cough, green cough, and so on.” She moved over to another plant with yellow flowers and spotted leaves, “This is lungwort, a good cure for yellow cough. Dock leaves, these green leaves over here, are good for curing soreness, such as a sore pad,” Darkeye twisted her paw so that Ebonypaw could see her pads. “And you rub it on like this.” Darkeye rubbed the leaf against her pad.
Ebonypaw would think that the rest of her day would be on sorting herbs, but after showing her daisy and telling her that she was low on this herb, Darkeye told her to go bring back some more.
“Be glad it hasn’t frosted yet, or all the herbs needed will be dead.” Darkeye nodded to Ebonypaw, “Bring back some elder leaves if you can!”
So Ebonypaw had free roam of the forest, and she looked for daisy and elder bushes. She found both, in a hollow near camp, the smell strong but not unpleasant. She ripped some of the remaining green leaves from the bush, and nipped off a few stems of the daisy, and returned to the medicine through the second entrance. Darkeye was waiting for Ebonypaw.
“You’re back, very good! And you brought plenty of the herbs we need! Well, Rabbitfoot just came in, sore muscles as usual, and she needs some elder leaves.”
From what Ebonypaw had learned, dock leaves and elder leaves served the same purpose, curing soreness, but came from different plants. She quickly sorted the herbs, placing them where Darkeye had told her to, then took some of the elder leaves to the warrior den where Rabbitfoot was waiting.
“Oh, hello Ebonypaw, I see Darkeye has you helping around. My back is a bit sore. I can’t wait until I see you in the training hollow with the other apprentices.” The black and white cat looked anxious, her eyes worried, though she forced out a purr.
“What’s wrong?” Ebonypaw asked the cat afraid of what the answer was. She could clearly see that Rabbitfoot was trying to hide her worry.
“Oh, it’s only Stormwind, he’s such a promising young warrior, though it seems that he is hiding something.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Ebonypaw comforted her Clanmate, who relaxed in her nest as Ebonypaw went to leave.
“Ebonypaw?” The apprentice turned to Rabbitfoot. “Can you please send Darkeye my thanks?”
“Yes, I’ll tell her you said so.” Ebonypaw trotted back through the caves, and as she neared the medicine den, she heard quiet voices, muffled by the moss walls.
“Are you sure? That she will bring light to the shadows? And death will greet the sky with a foreshadowed end to the Clans?”
“The misted clouds shall unleash a force as powerful as death upon the sky, allowing rain to come forth and flood the forest, ceasing the drought of light. There has always been tension between the Clans, but this speaks of nothing but trouble, Twilightstar must know, no matter what happens.” Ebonypaw heard Darkeye’s claws tearing moss, recognizing her mew by the way it rasped. Though she didn’t know who the other cat was.
“No! It must stay secret, if your leader knows, she’ll never forgive!” The stranger’s breathing came heavily.
“I’ll keep it a secret, only the Spirits will know of this.” Darkeye huffed, “You may leave now. And I’ll see you again next half-sky.”
Ebonypaw heard the rustling of leaves, almost wishing that she charged right into the medicine den, so she would know who the strange cat was. She heard the excited mewling of the kits, hoping to hear the name of the strange cat that exited the nursery. But she couldn’t hear through the moss that muffled their mews.
She crouched, low to the ground, her fur brushing moss as she hoped the strange cat was still there. She scented for the strange cat, tasting the air. The stranger smelled different from both the GhostClan scent and her own. Ebonypaw felt that the cat was from the opposite side from the GhostClan border, and she realized that the cat also reeked of herbs. Not herbs that Ebonypaw could find in the forest, herbs that came from the lowlands, near the StoneFall.
This cat came from the lowlands, where rabbits and thrush were more plentiful. Ebonypaw remembered that, beyond the lowlands, there was a large twoleg place. This was where the GhostClan cat, Shimmershade, had come from, living there for a while then heading for his new home in his own Clan. He didn’t reside in the medicine den in the GhostClan camp, he lived in a large baobab that had somehow made its way to grow there in the pine forest.
Ebonypaw then knew that this cat was yet another Spirit Dweller, the Spirit Dweller of the lowlands. She remembered that only the Spirit Dwellers met at half-sky, and that she would meet them there soon. Ebonypaw wondered what it would be like, her spirit meeting with the Ones That Seek, the prey-filled land that she, herself, would one day reside.
The scent of the stranger was getting stale, and this was likely to be her only chance to meet this cat alone. But the stranger was already gone, and Ebonypaw had no chance to catch up, not matter how far she could go. She hissed to herself, then went back to the medicine den, but Darkeye wasn’t there.
There was a pile of herbs in the middle of the den, unsorted and mixed together. Darkeye’s scent lingered here, and Ebonypaw decided she would wait in her nest while her mentor was away. She dreamt, this time without any visitors, and soon she woke to Darkeye entering. The herb pile was still unkempt, and Darkeye’s fur was on end. Her claws were extended, her tail lashing.
“Where were you?” Her ears lay back as she hissed.
“Looking for you.” Meowed Ebonypaw. “At least I don’t let AuraClan cats into the camp!” Ebonypaw replied curtly, trying to remind her Clanmate at what she had done.
“It wasn’t in secret and I didn’t let him into the camp!” Darkeye returned her blind gaze to the pile. “I hope you’re not like this all the time! Instead of trying to waste your breath on an worthless old cat like me, why don’t you make yourself useful by sorting these. I’m going check on the kits, Nightkit has been leaving the camp for no reason other than that she’s bored of staying in the nursery. She’s been influencing the other kits to do the same, I swear, you young cats don’t know a thing at all!” Ebonypaw watched as Darkeye trotted defiantly through the nursery entrance, and Ebonypaw quickly sorted the herbs right before Nightkit came into the medicine den.
Ebonypaw turned toward the young cat, only three moons old. Nightkit stared at her, looking surprised. “I thought you were training to be a warrior!”
“I was.” Ebonypaw agreed, “But not any more.”
Yes I know this is a lot to be deleted, and I really hope you enjoy it and found it interesting. Please comment if you have any questions or want to talk about this and I hope you have a good day!